My legs were shaking, and my breath was coming in gasps. This horse felt like a lit fuse underneath me; so much energy that it fairly vibrated out of his muscles and skin and made mine respond in the same way. He is big and fit and powerful, and I often feel slightly out of control when I am on him. This day, even more so. I fought to stay calm, to trust my training.

I couldn’t think; there wasn’t time. I had to dance, to react, to trust. If I took time to consider, he was already getting away from me.


But these are the moments I ride for: when I have to get out of my head and into my body. The moments where thinking puts me at a disadvantage are the moments where things really sink in, allowing me to remember on a cellular level.


Henry Beston said, “the world today is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before their hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.”


What are you doing that puts fire before your hands? That makes you feel the physical heat on your skin? That makes you sweat and feel your heart race?


What are you doing that allows your body to be in a mineral pool, surrounded and touched on every surface of your skin by the water that wells out of the ground?


What are you doing that puts you outside, breathing the air from the sky, and not the air filtered in a building?


The earth, and the elemental things in it, is there to keep our feet grounded, to keep us in our bodies. In our bodies we get back to our own truth and power, and find what is sacred.


For me, that’s being on a horse that reminds me that I’m not in control, I’m only dancing with the beauty of creation, trying however vainly to keep in step.


What is it for you? Will you go find it?